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Asbestos Health Hazards
Figure 5-6.—Emergency eyewash stations. Emergency  Eyewash  Stations Emergency  eyewash  facilities  are  designed  to provide  first  aid  to  personnel  who  splash  corrosive materials into their eyes. Corrosive materials are espe- cially hazardous to the eyes because the longer the materials contact the eyes, the more damage they cause. If you get a chip of metal in your eye, as long as you don’t rub your eye, the metal doesn’t cause further damage. You have time to get to sick bay to have the eye treated. Chemicals continue to cause damage as long as they remain in the eyes. Taking the time to go to sick bay for treatment could result in serious damage to the eyes. For that reason we need on the spot first aid to wash the eye to dilute the chemical. Areas  in  which  corrosive  materials  are  used  must have emergency eyewash facilities. Make sure all such emergency  facilities  are  easily  accessible  to  personnel in need of them. Make sure the locations of all units are unobstructed and are located as close to the hazard as possible. In no instance should a person have to travel more than 100 feet or take more than 10 seconds to get to the eyewash unit. People who work in areas that use great quantities of corrosives face the risk of splashing the  materials  on  their  body.  Those  areas  must  be equipped  with  a  combination  deluge  shower  and eyewash  station. Plumbed and self-contained emergency eyewash equipment  (fig.  5-6)  flush  the  eyes  using  potable  water. The minimum flow rate must be 0.4 gallons per minute for  15  continuous  minutes.  Ensure  the  velocity  of  the water will not hurt the user’s eyes. You must clearly mark each eyewash station with a safety instruction sign. Post signs in a visible location close to the eyewash unit. The sign must identify the unit as  an  emergency  eyewash  station. ASBESTOS  CONTROL  PROGRAM For many years, the Navy used asbestos as the primary   insulation   (lagging)   material   in   high- temperature  machinery,  shipboard  boilers,  and  the piping of boiler plants at shore facilities. The material was used as floor tile, as gasket materials, and for other uses that required fire resistance. We now recognize airborne asbestos fibers as a major health hazard. The  Navy  developed  an  asbestos  exposure  control program to protect and monitor personnel who have been exposed to asbestos.  Aboard ship, many pipes and boilers still have asbestos insulation. However, the Navy started a program in the mid- 1970s to use less harmful materials, such as fibrous glass, for pipe and boiler insulation. 5-15

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